Chasing the summer sun: Late September and October are fabulous months for a break in southern Europe – it’s still warm but the prices are significantly cooler
- This round-up includes a selection of deals for everywhere from Ibiza to Sicily
- Temperatures are in the mid-20s centigrade in Kalkan, Turkey, during October
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Can’t quite bid farewell to summer? You don’t have to if you head for the Med – and become a summer sun chaser.
Early autumn is an inspired time to descend on southern Europe, with fewer people and some great deals. Here’s our tempting selection…
NOT COLD TURKEY
Upmarket harbourside town Kalkan, all cobbled streets and floating bougainvillea, sits pretty on Turkey’s Turquoise coast.
Temperatures are reliably in the mid-20s centigrade during October, and you’ll mingle with a well-heeled crowd in the swish restaurants and boutiques.
Early autumn is an inspired time to descend on southern Europe. Head to Kalkan in Turkey (above), where temperatures are reliably in the mid-20s during October
Boat trip? Take an hour-long gulet cruise to Kekova Island, home to the sunken city of Dolichiste.
How to do it: A week’s self-catering at the two-bedroom Lebam apartment sleeping four in Kalkan, based on October 16 departures, costs from £650, down from £1,183 or 50 per cent off (vintagetravel.co.uk). Flights to Dalaman from £300pp extra (jet2.com).
On Ibiza’s west coast, five-star spa hotel Oku Ibiza has doubles from £300 a night
Tranquil: Spend lazy days beachside at Cala Vadella (above) and you’ll find that Ibiza can be a haven of tranquillity
When the party people pack up their glow-sticks at August’s end, Ibiza becomes a still-sunny haven of tranquillity.
The White Isle is awash with gorgeous coves, pine forests and boho villages. Spend lazy days beachside (we love Cala D’Hort and Cala Vadella), picking up bijou souvenirs — kaftan, anyone? — at the Las Dalias hippy market or devouring seafood feasts in historic Ibiza Town.
How to do it: Stylish west coast five-star spa hotel Oku Ibiza has doubles from £300 a night (use code OCTOBERESCAPES, okuhotels.com). Flights to Ibiza from £94 (ba.com).
A must-see in Tenerife is Mount Teide, the island’s central volcano with moon-like lava fields
Not the Med, but dismiss the Canary Islands at your peril if you’re on the hunt for reliable sunshine. On Tenerife, many of the luxury resorts – ever-growing in number – begin to snip their prices as the shoulder season ushers in.
Top up your Vitamin D pool-side, of course, but plot day trips, too – Tenerife’s north brims with authentic Spanish villages, and mighty Mount Teide, the central volcano with moon-like lava fields, remains a must-see.
How to do it: Book by October 3 to save 25 per cent on a week’s B&B at the five-star Ritz Carlton Abama. October 17 departures from Gatwick cost from £1,379 pp including flights (travelcounsellors.co.uk).
HIKING IN ANDALUCIA
Andalucia’s mountainous interior is a hiker’s paradise in autumn. The region’s Alhambra Palace (above) is worth a visit, too
How does an autumnal walking tour through the fresh-but-sunny foothills of the Sierra Nevada sound?
Andalucia’s mountainous interior — think fruit orchards, sparkling streams and golden eagles soaring above — is a hiker’s paradise when the fierce Spanish summer sun tempers, and Alhambra Palace is worth a visit, too.
From Granada, tackle a portion of the 760-mile GR7 hiking trail at your own pace on a self-guided tour, stopping for idle tapas lunches in villages such as Trevelez, the highest in Spain.
How to do it: Walks Worldwide’s self-guided Andalucian hikes cost from £791pp, 10 per cent off (previously £879pp), for seven nights including B&B stays on the trail and luggage transfers (walksworldwide.com). Flights to Malaga from £70 (ryanair.com).
If Sicily is too hot for many in August, it’s arguably just right in October.
The Italian island, recently seen in HBO drama The White Lotus, is irresistible thanks to millennia of history — including ancient Greek art wonder Valley of the Temples, simple but heavenly food (say yes to the arancini) and its garland of heaven-sent beaches — San Vito Lo Capo, near Trapani boasts Caribbean-esque alabaster powder sands.
Hire a car to really make the island your own.
How to do it: Contemporary Villa Casa dei Sogni, sleeping 13 and a short drive from Taormina, now costs £2,354 for October 14 departures (wishsicily.com). Fly to Palermo with ITA Airways from £204 (ita-airways.com).
HOT STUFF IN FRANCE
Head to France’s Cote d’Azur this autumn and you’ll find the beaches are still made for people-watching, but they’re not packed
Let summer linger on with a jaunt to France’s glittering Cote d’Azur, where you can take a dip in the just-warm-enough Med waters off glamorous resorts such as Nice, Antibes and Cannes.
The beaches are still made for people-watching but not packed, and the restaurant scene is lively but less frantic. Inland excursions to perfume hub Grasse and hill-top idyll St Paul de Vence add further charm.
How to do it: Travel Department has guided group trips to the Cote d’Azur departing October 7, staying seven nights B&B at the Neho Suites Cannes Croisette from £859pp including flights, transfers and excursions.
Use code LAUNCH60 to get the £60 discount (traveldepartment.co.uk).
COOL OFF IN CORFU
Glug the last of the summer wine – and graze on delicious meze on Corfu, where 25c in October is the norm.
Pencil in R&R but make time to explore the Greek isle’s historic sites as more comfortable weather descends, including the Venetian architecture of Corfu Town and regal Achilleion Palace in Gastouri, where Austrian Empress Elizabeth once resided.
You should pack your bathers, too; the Ionian waters are pleasant after months of summer heat.
How to do it: Seven nights’ self-catering at Villa Artemis, south of Kassiopi, now costs £1,867, 15 per cent off, based on six sharing (cvvillas.com). Flights to Corfu from £143 (easyjet.com).
A tourist honeypot all summer long, by October, the villages and vineyards that encircle the blue-green waters of Italy’s Lake Garda are much quieter
Enjoy a restorative early autumn getaway and watch the first leaves begin to bronze on Italy’s Lake Garda.
A tourist honeypot all summer long, by October, the villages and vineyards that encircle the blue-green waters of Italy’s famous lake are much quieter. Spend soothing days cruising via boat to easy-on-the-eye towns including Torbole to the north, and Sirmione and Bardolino to the south.
A clement 19c by day, pack jumpers for the evenings.
How to do it: A seven-night B&B stay on October 7 with Inghams at the Hotel Garden in Garda costs from £612pp (saving £240, or 40 per cent off) including flights and transfers (inghams.co.uk).
Napoleon’s birthplace doesn’t bid au revoir to the summer easily, with the mercury hovering around 21c into late October.
The island, 114 miles long by 52 miles wide, is geographically diverse; hill-top villages, sawtooth mountains and shimmering coves are all on the scenic menu.
Just here for the lounging? Then pitch up on one of Corsica’s beautiful beaches including Calvi, Arinella and Saleccia.
How to do it: Corsican Places has seven nights in two-bedroom Casa di L’Olivu, 30 minutes from Porto-Vecchio, from £2,396 — a saving of £1,268, or 50 per cent off — based on six sharing. Prices include flights on September 30 and car hire (corsica.co.uk).
MILD IN MALTA
The ‘M’ in Malta could well stand for mild, such is the October weather on an island that boasts 3,000 annual hours of sun.
There’s a beach for every preference — from the wide, golden sands at Mellieha Bay to caramel-hued swim-spot St Peter’s Pool — plus amazing dive opportunities on tiny sister island Gozo.
Mazy 16th-century capital Valletta is a UNESCO site with bags of history to delve into.
How to do it: A week-long stay at the adult-only four-star H Hotel in St Julian’s with BA Holidays costs £1,020 pp on a room-only basis and including flights (ba.com).
- Prices correct as we went to press.
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